Friday, April 21, 2017

MY BAGAN TEMPLE VISITS EAST

My last "tour day" with an e-bike in Bagan was Magha Bucha Day, the full moon day. So, in the early morning I went back to Ananda temple, while it was still quiet. After my rounds through the temple I went east on the Bagan plain towards Minnanthu village. One sight I really loved was the Hsin Bhyushin monastic complex, which was very quiet. Only a few local workers were in the temple complex, which offered lots of details to see on the outside walls and a beautiful group of 4 Buddha images inside the main building. 

Entering Minnantu village, I found a rather developed tourist industry. Locals asked me across the road to eat at their restaurants or buy their products. Visiting the main temples on my list also proved difficult as I had to fend off loads of children who all wanted to function as an un-official tour guide. The worst was actually Leimyethna Pahto temple. All of the smaller sights which dotted the eastern part of Bagan did not allow photography and seemed to be the chosen temples for tour guides with their visitors. Narathihapathe temple was still OK to visit alone and with a camera, but all the others were dark places with awesome frescoes but no photography. 

By noon time I was about to finish my visit to the eastern temples and I came across the much debated modern viewing tower, so I decided to check it out, pay my 8.000 Kyat entrance fee (or 5 US $) and went to the viewing platform level. I was really surprised how good the view was from up here, despite it being a bit too bright at noon time. Actually one of the best views in Bagan and I am sure sunrise with the balloons in the air must look awesome from here as well. The only real big downside is the pigeons which are just everywhere and they do their business everywhere. I had to be really careful not to touch anything and while setting up my tripod with the camera I had to move the pigeons out of the way a few times.

The drive back to the hotel happened over the paved roads along the airport and through Nyaung-U. Not a pretty ride and after the quiet but dusty sand roads it was also difficult to navigate through the traffic. 

For the afternoon light I decided to go back down south to New Bagan to check out the only two missing temples on my list - East and West Hpetleik and Lokananda Pagoda by the river.  A friendly older woman opened the west Hpetleik temple and let me explore the dark galleries filled with unglazed Jataka tiles. The Lawkananda Pagoda offered great views over the river, with lots of local worshippers and monks. After all it was full moon day and Magha Bucha holiday. A nice end for my last "tour day" after which I went back to my favourite Shwegu-gyi temple to enjoy another beautiful sunset. 


















 

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